Pornography is a modern day addiction that has gripped numerous people, both young and old. Like the other addictions such as drugs and alcohol, addiction to porn creates setbacks on the victims in many ways. The uncontrolled presence and usage of internet and social media, fuels addiction to pornography is greatly. Unfortunately internet that causes pornography addiction is easily accessible even to pre-teens. It is reported that in a developed country such as the USA children as young as 11 years have free access to pornography.
With the improved internet services the same first-world facility is also available to Ugandans especially to the urbanites. Our children cannot be excluded in the internet accessibility. It is believed that there are over 6 million smart phones are in Uganda. Our mobile phone service providers offer rather cheap internet services which facilitate easy access to pornography. We have noticed that our children are smarter in using smart phones than the adults.
Sunday Vision on 24 April 2016 flashed as headlines in the front page, “Marriage Crisis: Youth Fail To Find Partners” highlighting marital problems in Uganda. Certainly this crisis is partly fuelled by pornography. Among many reasons cited for disinterested in marriage among the marriageable young people is availability of cheap and loose sex and pre-marital sex. We can confidently say that pornography waters down the sacredness of sex and commercializes human sexuality. Hardcore pornography leads the porn addict victim to experiment on real persons. Besides leading to fornication and prostitution pornography leads to addiction which is a sickness by itself.
Like the other addiction, porn cannot deliver what it promises. It elevates the spirit for a moment, but it leaves a young man hollow and hungry. It doesn’t give the joy that we long for. It brings longing and discontent and a hunger that can never be satisfied. If a person keep going back for more, it kills the user in the end.
The Time magazine of 31 March 2016 published an article, “Porn and the Threat to Virility” by Belinda Luscombe, emphasising the loss of virility caused by addictive pornography. The article boldly called this addiction a “civilizational crisis”, a carnage of culture. The columnist wrote, “A growing number of young men are convinced that their sexual responses have been sabotaged because their brains were virtually marinated in porn when they were adolescents. Their generation has consumed explicit content in quantities and varieties never before possible, on devices designed to deliver content swiftly and privately, all at an age when their brains were more plastic—more prone to permanent change—than in later life. These young men feel like unwitting guinea pigs in a largely unmonitored decade-long experiment in sexual conditioning.”
Humanly speaking pornography affects adult relationship with real women. Many of them are simply unable to experience a sexual response with a real live woman. Their mind has got used to giving only responses to pornographic images. Pornography has taken precedence to sex. Taking this into consideration the USA state of Utah has passed a resolution to treat pornography as a public-health crisis. Like the legislature of Utah, the article calls pornography “a health crisis” and down plays the moral and spiritual crisis that pornography causes.
In the Ugandan context we often attribute degradation social morals to the eroding of culture. We have lost our cultural modes of teaching our children and young people sacredness human sexuality and the use of sex. Cultural modes have been replaced by mass media and of recent social media. For many of our young people everything about sex is learned through pornography.
We often call human sexuality sacred. Only by counter-acting pornography with moral and spiritual weapon we can effectively minimize and eradicate it. Porn is a threat not only to physical/biological virility but also it is a threat to moral and spiritual virility.
Starting from the western world, sexual revolution began in the 1960s. It promised more sex and more pleasure. Through media, especially through advertisement this revolution made men think of women as objects to be used and abused for sexual pleasure, devoid of virtue and honour. It teaches young men to use women for sex and then to discard them when they become unwilling or uninteresting. This means that it has given us a generation of young men completely unprepared for marriage and for fatherhood. The marriage crisis that is portrayed in the Sunday Vision is real and contemporary crisis.
As more and more male youngster is addicted to pornography our young women are less likely to find a sexual ‘normal’ man with whom they can build healthy relationship that can lead to responsible conjugal bond and marriage. Because no woman is willing to be sexually abused even within the context of marriage.
“Pornography consists in removing real or simulated acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense.” Perhaps it is a timely advice from Church (Catechism, 2354).
Published in Monitor, May 2016.
(Themes: youth, pornography, media, morals)